Film: 8628

Feature Comedy | 1940 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Comedy short featuring Leon Errol. Farce. Also The Brothers? Showgirls. Men dressed as women.
The film begins with 12 hula dancers on stage at a theatre shot from the back so you can see the audience. It then cuts to a man on the phone. His name is Rick (the theatre owner.) We then see Leon Errol in his appartment who is on the other end. He is on an entertainment committee. Leon is looking for a fan dancer and Rick tells him he has one of the best in the business.
A man walks in the room and gives Leon a wig. He tells the man it’s to fool his wife. He doesn’t want his wife to find out what he’s up to. He tries on the wig and looks in the mirror. He puts on a French accent.
Leon goes does down to the theatre where the hula girls are dancing to speak to Rick. There is a shot of the dancers, then a shot of the audience, and then you see Leon in the wings watching the dancers. There is a man behind him backstage fiddling with the controls. Rick introduces Leon to the fan dancer he was talking about. Her name is Windermere.
Leon and Rick briefly discuss business. Rick goes to count the money that Leon gives him. The police come. The uniformed officers stand behind the officers in suits. The main police officer/detective tells Rick that he's going to close the show down. Rick tells him that he doesn’t own the show anymore so the officer goes to speak to Leon. He takes his name and address, writing it on a pad. (04:12)
Windermere dances alone, then the curtains are closed. She gets angry and says "Hey! What's going on here?" She walks over to the man controlling things to ask what he's doing, then she and the officer argue. Leon discovers the place is under arrest. A photo is then taken of Windermere and Leon. They escape while the policeman’s back is turned. When he turns back around, the controller has the feathered fan in front of his face. The officer says "lets go" because he thinks it's Windermere, so when he moves the fan away from the man's face, the officer is shocked.
A man makes a phone call, then it shows the front page of a newspaper with the picture of Windermere and Leon and the heading ‘Burlesque House Raided’ and sub-heading ‘New Manager and Fan Dancer Escape Police’.
Back at Leon’s apartment, Leon is having breakfast. Mrs Errol answers the phone to Bob (the man making the phone call.) Leon speaks to Bob with his wife standing next to him. She goes to get a paper and then Bob warns Leon not to let his wife see the front page of him with Windermere wearing his overcoat. So when the paper arrives, Leon snatches it from her and doesn’t let her see it. He looks at it, then sits down on the sofa while saying "Oh dear, oh dear." He lies about what it says, saying there's an item about the draft aids and that they've raised to 75. There is then a shot of Mrs Errol looking shocked and saying "75!?" He takes the front page and gives the rest of the paper to her. He then rushes off, telling her he’s in a hurry. He picks up his hat and puts it on his head, talks to his wife for a bit, who says he needs his overcoat, then leaves.
When he gets outside, he screws up the paper and puts it in his pocket. The officer and his partner then come out of the lift. Leon panics, runs into the door of his appartment, and then goes back inside. He runs past his wife, knocking the paper out of her hands. He picks up the box with the wig in it, then the doorbell rings, and he runs into another room.
The police knock on his door and ask his wife if Leon Errol lives there. They do this by speaking to Mrs Errol through a small door which she opens in the top of the main door. When they come in, Leon goes to greet them in the wig and a fake moustache and he puts on a French accent. They are all talking in the door-way. He tells them that he is Leon Errol but the police don’t believe him and so wonder if there is another Leon Errol in the building. Leon says that somebody may have used his name. When they leave, they say bonsoir. (08:41)
Leon stands by the door laughing. Mrs Errol wonders why he disguised himself and so asks questions. He covers it up by lying to her.
Windermere comes out of the lift. The police freeze, look at each other, then hide around the corner. They whisper to each other. She looks around at door numbers. Leon is sitting on the arm of his sofa. Windermere knocks on Leon’s door. She tells Leon (who is still in disguise and so doesn’t recognise him) that she has come to give Leon his coat. He tells her that he will give it to him but she says she’ll give it to him herself as he owes her money. He pushes her out, and then his wife says she heard a woman’s voice but Leon tells her it was the boys (police) again.
Leon catches up with Windermere who's standing outside the lift. He takes off his disguise. She wants to know when she’s going to get paid. The police chase them and Leon and Windermere go into the lift. The police run into a hotel servant carrying a tray of food. He falls over.
The next 4 minutes are spent with the police trying to catch Leon. He and Windermere come back out of the lift on the same floor. The servant on his knees picks up the food. A lady walks past looking at them. They try to go back into the lift but it's closed so they run into somebody else's apartment. Leon tells Windermere he'll come back and get her. He sneaks out, then she walks over to an arm-chair and sits down. A man in the bathroom is shaving.
When Leon is out in the hallway, he sees the policemen. The officer tries to grab him but Leon ducks and runs past them up the stairs. The officer's partner gets in the officer's way so he throws him to the ground.
Upstairs, Leon is stumbling around not knowing what to do or where to go. Then he goes into an old lady’s room. She is on the phone and startles him. He puts on her dress and her headscarf as a disguise. She sits at a table on the phone.
The police grab a man they believe to be Errol but is someone else.
Leon then comes out of the room in his disguise and turns around to find the police staring at him. He is again startled but they don’t recognise him. He says good day in an 'old lady' voice. He turns around, walks into the wall, then falls down the stairs, knocking over that same hotel servant. (12:30) When they get to the bottom of the stairs, they both sit up, look at eachother, and look shocked. Leon holds his hip and moans. The servant starts to go back up the stairs but runs back down when the police come down. The police and another woman come to his aid. He runs into the room where Windamere is. The woman comes into the room and wonders why there is a lady (Windermere) in her apartment but her husband says he has never seen her before. She tells him to go and get Mrs Errol to help her with the old lady and pushes him out the door. Leon tries to climb out of the window but the lady stops him. Windermere runs out.
Mrs Errol comes into the room and the other lady tells her what happened. Leon is hiding behind a dressing screen. He gets out of there without anyone noticing, but when shutting the door, the dress gets caught.
Another shot of the old lady on the phone, she is asking about another accident and says that she'll come down and get it herself.
Leon takes off the headscarf and dress and gets into the lift with Windermere.
The old lady comes downstairs to find her clothes on the floor. She puts on her headscarf and pulls at her dress. The door opens and the woman and Mrs Errol tell her she shouldn’t be on her feet because of her hip. She tells them there’s nothing wrong with her hip and that it’s her stomach she’s worried about.
Leon and Windermere come out of the lift and the police catch him. He gives in but they just want to give him back the money he gave Rick at the theatre. You see him looking at the money and smiling. Mrs Errol takes it out of his hand and asks what it’s for so he tells her the boys lost a bet. Windermere then comes and snatches the money from Leon then gives him his coat. She tells Mrs Errol that he hired her for a fan dance and that the money is hers. Mrs Errol gets angry so Leon pushes her against the wall and runs away. The woman holds her back. Leon runs into the hotel servant again and falls down the stairs. When at the bottom of the stairs, two eggs which the servant was carrying drop on him. His final line is “Eggs... What no Bacon?”


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